Wedding Tip – Guest Arrival Etiquette
The bride’s car arrives for her big moment and a bridesmaid says ‘oh wait, more guests are arriving..’
The late comers are finding a park, getting prams out, grabbing bags, finding handbags and its all taking a while as they notice the bride has arrived and they need to get to the ceremony as quickly as possible.
Guests have also been known to arrive just as the vows are about to start and there is nothing worse than people trying to be inconspicuous while finding a seat as it’s never inconspicuous!
Even worse, heads will turn during your vows when late comers arrive and you really want to avoid this as it simply ruins the moment.
These are awful situations but of course, we know it can be difficult with small children, traffic problems, loosing wallets and finding the venue so let’s talk about etiquette and what can be done to avoid these scenarios.
The time listed on the wedding invitation is the time the ceremony will begin, not the time guests are expected to arrive. If a wedding invitation says that the ceremony will begin at 2:00pm, guests should arrive by at least 1.45pm, which gives guests time to find a seat, chat with the other guests, and get settled. You can stipulate in your wedding invitation to arrive by 1.45pm for a 2:00pm ceremony. You can also do a social media reminder to guests to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the ceremony. You can also be less rigid on the start time given on the invitation especially if you can actually see guests still arriving. However, remember, don’t feel trapped waiting for people who might never show up for whatever reason and miss the ceremony but will catch up with you at the reception. On the other hand, don’t expect guests to arrive an hour early, especially if it is a hot day and there is nothing for them to do.
If late comers do eventually arrive, it is a good idea to have someone stationed outside or at the point of entry to direct guests to enter at an appropriate moment.
In some instances, churches/chapels will actually not allow late entry and may prevent guests from entering once the ceremony has started.
Most importantly, once the ceremony begins, everyone’s attention will be on you and your beloved and that’s how it should be so don’t get upset or stressed about late guests just enjoy your day!
Remember, if being on time is important to you, we suggest you be very clear about it from the start that way nobody can say they did not know.
Have questions on guest arrival etiquette or anything else weddings? Get in touch, we are here to help!
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